WITH just over a week to go before the General Election, Britain’s political parties have yet to provide answers to some key concerns, say fleet operators.
The BVRLA’s close examination of the manifestos published by the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Green Party has found some positive policy proposals, but also highlighted the lack of attention paid to several major issues.
“Aside from some welcome commitments to roads spending and tackling emissions, there is a lack of bold, progressive policy measures that might galvanise Britain’s drivers and fleet operators,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.
The BVRLA is particularly concerned about the lack of attention paid to road safety. None of the parties have made any pledges to introduce road safety targets, enhance the reporting of work-related accidents, increase enforcement or provide improved guidance to fleet operators and drivers.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both say they would try to accelerate the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles
Analysis of the manifestos showed a growing political consensus that more needed to be done to tackle air quality and only Liberal Democrats and Labour have explicitly backed the BVRLA’s call for a national framework to govern these.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both say they would try to accelerate the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles, with the Tories pledging £500m to ensure that nearly every car and van on the road would be a zero emission vehicle within 35 years.
The Liberal Democrats are more ambitious – saying they will only allow ultra-low emission cars on UK roads by 2040 and it was the only party to respond to the BVRLA’s requests to come up with more effective motoring tax incentives promoting ultra-low emission vehicles.
None of the parties seem willing to address the issue of over-generous Authorised Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs), which provide millions of employees with no incentive to use safer, lower emission vehicles.
Road infrastructure did get a mention with all main parties committing to increased, longer-term funding for the national road network. The Conservatives are the only party to put a figure on this investment – £15bn over the next parliament – while Labour is the only party to make any mention of addressing the poor investment in neglected local roads.
“Road transport makes a vital contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of this country. Whatever form the government takes after May 7th, the BVRLA will make sure that key issues affecting the sector are not forgotten,” said Keaney.
The BVRLA has produced a fleet-focussed summary of the party manifestos published so far. It can be downloaded from the BVRLA website.